PRO.SA in italy

“Who are you? I am Okapi” is a book by Dino Ticli. It is about the story of the female okapi Forestiera, so called because it is grown up in the forest and because it is a foreigner. The okapi is a peculiar and mysterious animal who lives in a remote area in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Its aspect is very curious because it is a mixture of three different animals: a little bit of a zebra, a little bit of a donkey, a little bit of a giraffe, the okapi is a discovery, a perfect mixture of different species, but also a unique being.

Forestiera needs a name, it needs to know its own species, to find its fellows, to leave its own world in order to find friends, family and happiness.

A journey made of meetings with new animals – from the bonobo to the warthog – and of life experiences: the okapi will experience mistrust and reception, fear and tolerance, diversity and friendship.

Within the project carried out in the schools, whose title comes from the book, the experience of Forestiera represents the metaphor of diversity and dialogue among cultures. The knowledge of diversity enforces one’s identity and makes us better.

The educational path carried out for the elementary school encourages the children to discover themselves individually in order to be able to start a relationship with the other, the different one, just like the little Okapi did.

Through presentation games, manual and listening activities and confrontations, children learn to take on new challenges, especially thanks to appearance of the Okapi itself!

The activities thought for older boys and girls aim at reflecting on the choices of some people who leave their homeland to look for a different life, just like Forestiera, sometimes coming up against prejudgments and fighting every day for their integration in the new context.

In this case, the focus is on the analysis of the differences which characterize the various contexts where “the other” comes from, and on the fundamental role that each of us can have to safeguard the well-being of the others.

The students must find global data about various themes, explore topical subjects and raise their voices after a confrontation among peers.

This project was funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation under the call Global Citizenship Education and it was presented together with other organisations from Lombardy, with Celim as project leader.